Last week I began a series on why Christians should do good works – the question that naturally arises once you understand that Christ has done all the work for our salvation. Last week we saw that you should do good works because you have died to sin. This week I want to show that you should do good works in order that you prove you’re saved.
We often ask ourselves whether we truly have received the gift of eternal life. You have repented of your sins and believed Jesus died for you, but how do you know for sure that you are saved? Well the Bible says that one of the primary ways is through looking at your works. If you have become a Christian you should start to see changes in your behaviour. If you do not, then you should seriously consider whether you are saved. Many, many texts in the Bible support this. Here are a few of the best:
• ‘The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did’ (1 John 2:4-6). John says you are a liar if you claim to be a Christian yet walk in the darkness.
• ‘As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead’ (James 2:26). James says your faith is considered lifeless if you do not do good works.
• ‘Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire’ (Matthew 7:17-19). Jesus says that someone claiming to be a Christian and not bearing good works is only worth throwing into the fire.
• ‘They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good’ (Titus 1:16). Paul says those who claim to know God can deny him by the way they live.
Do you want to know if you are going to heaven? Repent of your sins, trust in Jesus death on the cross for your sins, and then begin doing good works. If you claim to be a Christian but consistently do what displeases God, your repentance, faith and salvation are questionable. But if you regularly see good works in your life, take heart that this is part of the evidence that you are one of God’s children.